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Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Gordon Laing, April 2008

Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 results : Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 resolution comparison

Note: Sony has asked us to describe the unit tested here as a pre-production model, but running Firmware version 1.0, we’re confident the output is close or even identical to what you’ll get with retail units when they’re released. We will update this page when a production sample is available.

  To measure and compare the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350's resolving power we photographed the Enhanced Digital Camera Resolution Chart with it and a number of rival cameras, each using their best quality JPEG and default image tone and sharpening settings. Each camera was tested at every aperture setting and the best result selected for this page.

The crops are taken from the original images, saved as High Quality JPEGs in Photoshop CS2 and presented here at 100%. Each number represents 100 lines per picture height (lpph), so a figure of 20 means a resolution of 2000 lpph.

In terms of resolving power, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 delivers 2500 and 2250 lpph of horizontal and vertical resolution respectively when equipped with the standard DT 18-70mm kit lens. This, as you'd hope for a 14 Megapixel model, places it comfortably ahead of 10 Megapixel DSLR kits. It also scores favourably against 12 Megapixel models like the Canon EOS 450D / XSi and Sony Alpha A700, particularly in terms of horizontal resolution.

We did measure a higher vertical resolution result from the Alpha A700, but it was using a higher quality DT 16-80mm lens. We'll be retesting the A350 in the future with better quality optics to see how much we can squeeze out of its sensor.

Even with the kit lens though, it's a good result for the A350, albeit at its lowest sensitivity of 100 ISO. Now let's see how it performs across its sensitivity range in our real-life noise results.


Sony Alpha DSLR-A350
with DT 18-70mm
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
with DT 18-70mm
2500 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2100 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700
with Sony DT 16-80mm
 
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
with EF-S 18-55mm IS
2350 lpph, DT 16-80mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2200 lpph, EF-S 18-55mm IS at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO


Sony Alpha DSLR-A350
with DT 18-70mm
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
with DT 18-70mm
2250 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2100 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700
with Sony DT 16-80mm
 
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
with EF-S 18-55mm IS
2400 lpph, DT 16-80mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2225 lpph, EF-S 18-55mm IS at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO


Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Studio resolution: JPEG versus RAW

We photographed our test chart in the A350's RAW plus Large Fine JPEG mode, allowing us to directly compare images created from exactly the same data. Below are crops taken from the RAW file converted using Sony's supplied Image Data Converter SR 2.0 using its default settings.

Using the default settings, it's clear the RAW samples converted with Sony's software suffer from greater moiré than the in-camera JPEGs, reducing the maximum resolution. Interestingly, this was exactly the same effect seen with the earlier Alpha A700. Like the A700, we also tried converting the RAW files using Adobe Camera RAW, although with its default settings it still didn't match the apparent resolution of the in-camera JPEG. That said, it was still superior to the conversion made with the Sony software. Clearly anyone who shoots RAW will need to do some tests to find the best workflow for converting their A350 files.

Now let's check out the camera's performance at different sensitivities in our Sony A350 noise results page.


Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 JPEG
with DT 18-70mm
Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 RAW
with DT 18-70mm
2500 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2400 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO

Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 JPEG
with DT 18-70mm
Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 RAW
with DT 18-70mm
2250 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO
2250 lpph, DT 18-70mm at 35mm, f8, 100 ISO


Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 results continued...

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise
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